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In late October, I was fortunate enough to be a judge at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. "The Jack," as it is known in the BBQ competition world, is one of the premier contests. It is like one of the Majors in golf or Grand Slams in tennis.
This delicious steak is a tribute to my trip to The Jack for a couple of reasons.
- While at the contest, I got to see friends, Chef Michael Ollier and Bryan Schaaf, from Certified Angus Beef Brand.
- The base recipe is from Jack Daniel's.
- I used Jack Daniel's Charcoal Briquets and Smoker Blocks.
|Each judge received a generous SWAG bag, and these were just two of the things in it.|
|I saw the simple recipe for Jack and Coke Steaks on the charcoal bag and decided to give it a whirl.|
|I went to my Food City and picked out this gorgeous pair of Certified Angus Beef Brand, USDA Prime NY Strip Steaks.|
|Before leaving for work that morning, I put the steaks in a bath of Jack Daniel's and Coke. Typically, I don't marinate strips, ribeyes, or filet, but I made an exception in this case.|
|My weapon of choice for this cook was my PK Grills equipped with GrillGrates. I like it because it reminds me of old-school grilling. Growing up, my dad grilled on an old keg he had been cut up and welded into a grill. This grill kind of reminds me of that one.|
|I loaded the briquets in the charcoal basket and fired them up in a half dozen or so spots with a JJ George torch. The briquets themselves are dense, and their shape reminds me of Royal Oak Chef Select briquets.|
|The wood is from the oak barrels used to age Jack Daniel's whiskey. The dark side is like that because they char the inside of the whiskey barrel before putting the whiskey in it to age.|
|I place the wood chunks near the coals so they can preheat as the coals come up to temperature.|
|I wanted a garnish to go with the steaks, so I did a mushroom flambe. I sauteed diced shallot and small portobello mushrooms in beef tallow in a cast-iron skillet.|
|Then I carefully added a shot or so of Jack Daniel's Ol' #7, lit it, and let it flame out, concentrating the whiskey flavor.|
|About 5 minutes before cooking the steaks, I put the pre-heated wood chunks onto the burning coals.|
|I patted the steaks dry since moisture inhibits the Malliard reaction. Then I oiled them, seasoned them with my NMT Umami Steak Seasoning recipe, and grilled them about 3 1/2 minutes per side.|
|I give the steaks a quarter turn, halfway through each side's cook, to give them the classic cross-hatch marks.|
|The side was pre-cooked small potatoes topped with a homemade pepper jack cheese sauce.|
|I sprinkled the potatoes and pepper jack cheese with crumbled cooked bacon because you can't go wrong there.|
|Then I spooned some of the portobello flambe onto the steaks and garnished with some green onion.|
|The steaks were just how I like them, just this side of medium-rare, and delicious.|